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Saluda improves fire rating

Homeowners’ insurance will decrease with new rating of 4

SALUDA—City of Saluda residents should soon see a drop in homeowners’ insurance following the fire department’s recent drop in ISO rating.

The Saluda Fire Department was informed this week that the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal lowered the ISO rating from a 5/6 to a 4 within the department’s 5-mile district.

The new rating will go into effect on Oct. 1 this year for resident’s insurance rates.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey announced this week that the routine inspection was completed. Saluda’s rural rating is a 4/9E.

The rating system ranges from one (the highest) to 10 (which is not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). The OSFM says lower ratings do not necessarily indicate poor service, a higher rating does suggest that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings can also significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in that district.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief (Robert) Dellinger for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” Commissioner Causey said. “The citizens in the town of these districts should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

State law requires the OSFM to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 or less people, which is all districts except 12 in the state of North Carolina.

“You deserve to brag a little about the expertise of your personnel, which saves homeowners money and, most importantly, makes their lives safer,” Causey said to the Saluda Fire Department.